Clawfish is a relaxing crane game where you fish in a video game

The Clawfish Arcade Accessible by train, a small boardwalk surrounded by dreamy fog and clear blue waters. It’s only open to me, the lone wanderer is free to drop rocks off the dock, talk to the local seagull, or pop coins into the arcade’s three cranes game.

Claw fish, from developer David Czarnowski, released in June along with Live healthy games – a showcase of indie video games. I downloaded the game just a few days ago, when it listed as a featured game on, and was immediately interested. Although I don’t enjoy fishing anymore, I grew up near a lake in the middle of the city, and I spent my days suffocating with my feet dangling on the dock, fishing line in hand. There is something that makes me very nostalgic about fishing games and I find it hard not to at least try every one that i come across. Claw fish was expecting me to have about both fishing games and crane games and combine them for a truly captivating experience: the game lasts an hour, from machine to machine, on empty docks.

an illustration of a sail-fin herring with the inscription:

Image: David Czarnowski

There’s still a lot to do in Claw fish rather than playing the crane game, each of which slightly changes the fishing mechanics. (Though its core remains the same: Wrap your claws around a fish to catch and release it back into the ocean.) The world has different small areas to explore, accessible by boat. , with things to interact with. I’ve mentioned some of these things before: ice skating, chatting with seagulls, and drinking tea from a vending machine. These are the little touches that make the world feel special and unique, an alternate universe version of the dock I spent my childhood.

Claw fishThe main activity of course is the crane game. In total, the machines are stocked with different types of fish, under 30. They don’t have to be hard to catch, as real-life crane games often feel like cheating, but a skill is definitely needed to perfect the catch. It’s designed to be played in one sitting, so there’s no save button – if you don’t catch all the fish in one go, you’ll have to restart when you get to, again, at the arcade. However, when I play, I don’t feel pressured to rush to catch all the fish in the time that I have. I find this a fun space to go to during my lunch break, where I can leisurely catch fish while having lunch. It was like a little dreamy lunch break.

Claw fish available on Mac and Windows PC via and steam for 3 dollars. | Clawfish is a relaxing crane game where you fish in a video game


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